Cedar Bluff Baptist Church elects new pastor

Staff Writer

Karl Novak has been interim pastor at Cedar Bluff Baptist Church since January. Sunday, Aug. 20, the church voted to accept Novak as their full time minister.

"Cedar Bluff Baptist Church has been around for 122 years," Novak said. "It was started in 1895. That's a lot different from establishing a church like we did in New York."

Novak and his wife Bonnie aren't new to Mississippi. Bonnie Novak was born in Columbus and the couple met, married and lived there before making their home in New York.

"Our grandchildren are here so we wanted to come back to Mississippi and be close to them," Novak said. "I've heard grandchildren keep you young, I know they keep you active."

Novak said he was happy the members of Cedar Bluff Baptist Church decided to make him their pastor. He said he has grown to love the congregation there and looks forward to serving them and God.

"I let them know who I was and what I was all about from the beginning," Novak said. "I wanted to let the church make the decision about whether or not they thought with God's help, I was who they needed."

He said as an added bonus they got Bonnie, who brings a lot of creativity, love and enthusiasm with her.

"I'm hoping and praying we can serve God and the people of Cedar Bluff to the best of our ability," Novak said. "We are here to serve His purpose. We want to see the church grow and prosper."
Novak said he was pleased the church has young people, most are boys. He said the sad thing is most of them are being raised by grandparents.

"That just breaks my heart that so many of these kid's parents are not around to raise them," Novak said. "But thank God for Christian grandparents who are willing to stand in the gap. There are great-grandparents raising a teen in the church. They deserve all the help we can give them."

Novak said he and Bonnie are also working with the Mission on the Hill. He said it is a wonderful way to reach out to the community and offer help.

"What Bro. Dickie Bryan has felt called to do is amazing," Novak said. "It feels so good to be able to help with a project that is going offer help to people who may think everyone has given up on them. They need to know nothing can take us away from the love of God."

Novak said he always wants to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. He said he is ready for the challenges ahead and is happy to be where God has led him.

Donna Cox, a member of Cedar Bluff Baptist Church, said they are happy to have Karl and Bonnie Novak.

"He seems like he will be an energetic pastor,' Cox said. "While he was interim pastor he always had great ideas for the growth of the church."

She said he has a big, wonderful heart, a deep love for God and for everyone around him. She said the church is lucky to have him as their pastor.

"Bonnie is super sweet and very talented," Cox said. "We are a small country church and nothing like the one he pastored in New York. We appreciate having both of them here. They both want to work hard and see the church continue to grow and reach others for Jesus Christ."